Streams

Teaching Controversy

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Jonathan Zimmerman, professor and department chair of History and Education at NYU, takes your calls on whether and how to teach controversial aspects of history to students.

Guests:

Jonathan Zimmerman

Comments [20]

tony from bayside

To jgarbuz,

I agree (* but not with the grievances statement) ...albeit with the following added...

I remember knowing in abstract, about genocide and particularly the jewish holocaust during grade school. But in retrospect there was no really critical analysis about it and it was really presented as something you should just memorize. There was zero empathy in the matter..

* i am surprised that groups that have experienced such atrocities are functional considering their legacy...

Feb. 02 2012 12:22 PM
Carola from Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn

I so agree with the guest. I always hated history classes up through high school because I wasn't good at memorizing 'facts.' It wasn't until I went to college at the U. of Chicago, where we had no text books but read original works in translation, that it dawned on me that history was interpretation, not fact. I was finally learning critical thinking... which many students never get the chance to learn.

Feb. 02 2012 12:00 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Controversy belongs on college campuses, not in K-12 school yards.

Feb. 02 2012 11:57 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Unfortunately, as child of Holocaust survivors, I have to admit that this constant drumbeat regarding "Holocaust studies" that was introduced into the school system decades ago by well-intentioned LIBERAL Jews, once again paved the way for every abused minority group to crow its grievances - as honest and truthful as they may be - from the rooftops, having the effect to thereby poison ethnic relations by constantly bringing drumming up past atrocities and holocausts.

We all know that the conquest and settlement of the Americas, Australia and other places by Spaniards, French, Scots, Irish, Germans, Jews, as their African slaves, quashed and virtually exterminated hundreds of indigenous tribal nations. A mass genocide over a period of centuries. That is a bloody but simple fact of history. But using it to poison relations today is a crime as well, to balkanize America and turn it into another Yugoslavia. One purpose of a public school system to "Americanize" everyone and teach equality and mutual respect regardless of past behaviors.

Feb. 02 2012 11:54 AM
The Truth from Becky

Teach controversial subjects? sure, right after the educators have been properly educated on those subjects.

Feb. 02 2012 11:53 AM
Mike from Manhattan

It sounds like the guest doesn't know what he is actually criticizing. That ethnic studies class is taught in the context of all the regular US History and social studies classes and so the teacher, regardless of the text book will have to take into account all the other information the kids have heard all their lives. He is also just avoiding Brian's question because the courts have not questioned the singular point of view of standard history classes.

Feb. 02 2012 11:49 AM
Daniel

DarkSymbolist, you don't need to kick Arizona out of the union. If the US progresses forward, they will probably just self-deport.

Feb. 02 2012 11:47 AM
Connor from Toms River, NJ

I caught about 4 minutes of the show today and heard your guest mention something about a speech at the Nuremberg trials that included arguments for peace and love and how in today's culture, it is rare, even taboo to preach such things.
I'm just wondering who gave that speech. It sounds interesting.

Feb. 02 2012 11:47 AM
Michael ONeil from Manhattan

National and local groups dedicated to academic freedom and free expression have mobilized against the censorship of Mexican American Studies in the Tucson Unified School District.

The National Coalition Against Censorship has helped coordinate a joint statement of protest with over two dozen organizations including the National Council for the Social Studies, National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, ACLU-Arizona, and American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. You can see the full list of signers, along with updates and a petition link at http://www.ncac.org/Censorship-Arizona-Style

Feb. 02 2012 11:46 AM
Simsponsmovieblew

Would love to see this topic each week for a month! (all due respect to the diaper lady)

Feb. 02 2012 11:46 AM
Mike from Yorktown

Is this move by AZ possibly a veiled step toward justifying through precident teaching Creationism?

Feb. 02 2012 11:45 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

So...the traditional curiculum has a point of view but no one is banning that.....hmmmmm...interesting...

Hypocrisy much, Arizona?

Feb. 02 2012 11:44 AM
DSJ from NJ

The guest just showed his ignorance in the discussion... he doesn't know what is going on in ethnic studies classes. He can only "imagine" what is going on.

Feb. 02 2012 11:43 AM
Goz

Isn't this what good (non religious) private school is for

Feb. 02 2012 11:43 AM
fuva from Harlemworld

What should be taught are the facts as they are known, and any dispute therein. It's very hard to manage "resentment".

Feb. 02 2012 11:39 AM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Can we just kick Arizona out of the Union already?

Feb. 02 2012 11:36 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian-

Please ask what exactly is considered "controversial" on campuses these days. The prevailing orthodoxy in universities is undeniably center-left "progressive" these days....so what is heresy in that enviroment? The history of capitalism? Free market economics? Is global warming allowed to be held up to examination ("settled science" is an oxymoron in a free and open center of learning)? Please move the topic beyond the usual things like evolution.

There is a new "Adam Smith Society" at Columbia to give free market philosophy a fair hearing on campus in the current enviroment. Does he think that this is necessary?

Feb. 02 2012 11:31 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Brian-

Please ask what exactly is considered "controversial" on campuses these days. The prevailing orthodoxy in universities is undeniably center-left "progressive" these days....so what is heresy in that enviroment? The history of capitalism? Free market economics? Is global warming allowed to be held up to examination ("settled scince" is an oxymoron in a free and open center of learning)? Please move the topic beyond the usual things like evolution.

There is a new "Adam Smith Society" at Columbia to give free market philosophy a fair hearing on campus in the current enviroment. Does he think that this necessary?

Feb. 02 2012 10:36 AM
Linda from Long Island

I am familiar with Campus Watch and I am skeptical of their "message". It seems to me that they are another conservative organization that criticizes any academic that doesn't put an extremist spotlight on every facet of Islam.

Feb. 02 2012 10:24 AM
Peter from North Carolina

What does your guest think of www.campus-watch.org?

I am not affiliated with campus watch, but do subscribe to their email updates.

Their mission statement explains, "Campus Watch...reviews and critiques Middle East studies in North America, with an aim to improving them..."

Feb. 02 2012 09:18 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The Morning Brief

Enter your email address and we’ll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.